There are many unanswered questions about how technologies are being used, why they are necessary, and whether they risk infringing on human rights or privacy, write Andrew Chen and Kristiann Allen.
The idea of “emergence”, in a philosophical sense, is the notion that a system can have properties, behaviours and naturally forming rules or patterns that individual parts of the system do not have by themselves – the interactions between the components create something new. Snowflakes demonstrate this phenomenon, where individual ice crystals form and grow as they circulate in the air, leading to unpredictable but complex patterns. This perspective considers how seemingly independent parts of a system co-evolve.
Earlier this month, RNZ reported on New Zealand Police’s Review of Emergent Technologies. It included a stocktake of technologies “tested, trialled or rolled out” by NZ Police, from locating where 111 calls are coming from to facial recognition technology for finding people in CCTV footage. In total, 20 technologies were identified with a further nine “under consideration”. The review was urgently commissioned after the police commissioner was caught unaware that the High Tech Crime Unit had trialled the controversial Clearview AI product – understandably, he wanted to know if there were any other unknown surprises on the horizon.